According to recent news reports, former Vice President Joe Biden omitted Speaker Nicholas Mattiello from his list of endorsements by Rhode Island public officials. Furthermore, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, and a U.S. Senatorial candidate, returned a campaign donation from her colleague Speaker Mattiello. These public rejections of Speaker Mattiello’s support came after (1) Jeff Britt, Mattiello’s campaign consultant, was indicated for money laundering; and (2) Mattiello became the potential target of a grand jury investigation for an illegal audit of the Convention Center Authority.

R.I. Republican Party Chairman Sue Cienki commented: “While Democrats at the national level reject Speaker Mattiello’s support, Rhode Island House Democrats still continue to support Mattiello as Speaker. Some House Democrats may support the Mattiello because he has essentially bought them. Speaker Mattiello and his PAC has donated a total of $195,150 to the campaigns of current House Democrats, of which $185,400 has been donated since Mattiello became Speaker. These totals do not include Mattiello’s donations to former House Democrats like Ray Gallison, John Carnevale, Cale Keable and Lisa Tomasso. Some House Democrats are so dependent on Mattiello to finance their campaigns that their campaign accounts would be in the red but for the donations they received from Mattiello and his PAC.”

The R.I. Republican Party has created a document listing all House Democrats: (1) who received donations from Mattiello and his PAC; (2) the total amount of these contributions; and (3) the current balance in their campaign accounts. (VIEW DOCUMENT HERE)

Cienki continued: “This is how the State House operates. Lobbyists and special interest groups buy influence with the Speaker by donating to his campaign. In turn, the Speaker buys influence with fellow House Democrats with campaign donations and free meals paid for out of the Speaker’s campaign account. This corrupt system needs to end. House Democrats should follow the example of Speaker Gideon and stop taking money from our scandalous Speaker. Next, they should stop accepting free meals and drinks from the Speaker. Finally, they should speak out against the Speaker. We do not need as Speaker a man who associates with criminals, and may soon be indicted for criminal conduct.”

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